Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sects are HARAM in Islam


Jum'a Khutba: Islam vs. the Sects
The topic of my discussion today is about unity among Muslims. As we all know, Muslims are a very divided people. The existence of 57 Muslim nations instead of one bears witness to this unfortunate fact. We find all the excuses in the world to create division amongst ourselves. We divide ourselves on according to race, sect, our pre-Islamic cultures, political opinions, ancestry and even on the imams we follow! Brothers and sisters, none of these excuses for separation are considered valid by Allah, and therefore we should not consider them valid either.
A good Muslim is one who is without denomination, faction, or any other special loyalty. The prophet (SAWS), in his final speech to the whole Ummah, said that between Muslims, there are no races or tribes. We have divided the Ummah which our nabi (SAWS) tried so hard to keep together. Allah warns us, in verse 105 of surah #3 not to allow ourselves to dissociate. The verse reads:

The approximate meaning in English is:"And be not like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations after receiving clear signs: for them is a dreadful punishment in store".
Islam, being a flexible religion, allows for a variety of opinions and customs, as long as they do not contradict the religion. As mentioned, religious disagreements between the so-called sects of Islam can be resolved by turning to the Quran, not by segregation. The Quran is the book of guidance for ALL OF mankind. How can we convince anyone of this if we cannot even be united amongst ourselves! We are making a mockery of ourselves to non-muslims by refusing to follow the simple instructions of our own holy book! Allah's disapproval of disunity among Muslims is evident in verse 103 of surat Al-Imran:
The approximate meaning is:And hold fast, all of you, to the rope of Allah, and do not separate. And remember Allah's favour unto you: how you were enemies and He made friendship between your hearts so that you became brothers by His grace: and how you were upon the brink of an abyss fire, and He did save you from it.
Thus, Allah maketh clear His revelations unto you that haply you may be guided.
The ayah refers to how the Meccans and Medinians were united by the grace of Allah. This example illustrates how Islam was, and should still be, a uniting force between Muslims despite any superficial differences which may exist between us. The ayah also tells us that the Quran contains very clear guidance. Given that, there is no reason why any two Muslims should not practice Islam the same way, the way Allah has instructed.
The most shameful division among Muslims is that of denomination; the major ones being sunni, sheea, and ismaeli. These are all artificial divisions which have absolutely nothing to do with Allahs revealed deen. Who are we to cut up Allahs deen into little pieces, especially when Allah has forbidden us to do so? This is a crime committed by nearly 1 billion Muslims. A study of the history of these sects reveals that they were created PURELY by political disagreements. Later, innovations in religion lead to religious differences. An honest study of the Quran easily reveals these innovations (which I will not mention for the time being, due to time constraints). Nowhere in the Quran is there any mention of sunni, sheea, or ismaeli, and so we must make these terms alien to our vocabulary!
The Quran is very clear in this matter. Allah has declared that sectarianism is Haram. As Muslims, we are prohibited even from involvement with people who restrict themselves to a so-called subdivision of Islam. This point is mentioned in verse 159 of surah #6:
As for those who divide their religion and break up into sects, thou hast NO PART IN THEM IN THE LEAST, their affair is with Allah, He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did.
It is interesting to note that when Quran refers to those who will inhabit the jahannam, Allah often mentions that they will see the truth of all that they did or that they will receive just treatment for all that they used to do. These endings are never mentioned for those people who will enter Paradise. They are reserved especially for the sinners; those sinners who will be punished. So you be the judge: What do you think is in store for those people just described? Verses 27-28 of surah #45 of the Quran make this comparison too, but they also stress that on the Day of Judgment, followers of all sects will be in the same category. These verses read as follows:
...The Day that the Hour of Judgment is established, that day will the dealers in falsehood perish, and thou will see EVERY sect bowing the knee, every sect will be called to its record: This day shall ye be recompensed for all that ye did.
It is obvious that sinners are being described. Bowing the knee is a phrase used to describe the position of the wrongdoers on the Day of Judgment. In the example given, the sinners are those people who claim loyalty to ANY so-called sect of Islam.
A Muslim is defined as one who follows the religion of Allah, Al-Islam. Divisions exist to separate differences. If we divide ourselves, it is due either to some worldly difference between us or a difference in faith (as mentioned, neither is justifiable). A deliberate alteration of faith does not create a sect of Islam, it creates a distinct faith which the followers may claim to be a sect of Islam. Thus, there is a great danger involved in attributing oneself to one of the many so-called sects of Islam. Loyalty is allowed only for Allah, His messenger, and to those people who claim loyalty to Allah and his Messenger (SAWS) (i.e. the Muslims). Those of us who declare loyalty to a specific sect had better beware; sect of Islam is a contradiction of terms. You can have one or the other, not both! In accord with this, verse 32 of surah #30 of the Quran reads:

And be not like those who join gods with Allah, those who split up their religion and become (mere) sects, each party rejoicing in that which is with itself!
The words, "that which is with itself" refer to those differences which people use to justify their separation from Islam. Notice that polytheism, the greatest sin, is prohibited along side with division of religion. This pairing, like everything else in the Quran, is deliberate. It is meant to demonstrate the magnitude of this crime.
All of us must refuse to attribute ourselves to any of the man made divisions of Islam. If anyone asks you if you are Sunni, or Sheea, tell them that you are a Muslim, who believes in the seven beliefs, and practices the five pillars. Tell them that you strive to live according to the way Allah has instructed in the Quran.
Take a moment to reflect upon these questions: To what sect did Mohammed (SAWS) belong to? Whose example was the best example of how a Muslim should live his/her life? If the prophet (SAWS) were alive today, what would his opinion be on this subject? Should we, being followers of Islam, not try to keep our opinion consistent with the prophets (SAWS)? How can a non-Muslim be attracted to Islam knowing that there are so many versions of it, and if a non-Muslim decides to embrace Islam, wouldn't his/her joining of a sect ruin such a beautiful decision? During the time of our beloved prophet (SAWS), Muslims called themselves just that, Muslims. Nobody was a Sheea, or a Bohra, or an Ahmedi, or a Sunni, or an Ismaeli, or a Qadiani or a Duruz, or a Bahai, or an Ansarullah, or anything. All Muslims were equal. Everyone proudly proclaimed the Shahada:
Ash-hadu Allaa ilaaha ill-Allahu WaHdahu laa shareeka lah, wa Ash-hadu Anna MuHammadan abduhu wa rasooluh!
I now call upon all of you to immediately renounce any special religious loyalty which you may posses. For the love of Allah, the one who created you and blessed you with his deen, forget that you belong to any group and be proud that you are Muslim. And renouncing the sect is not enough if we continue to practice Islam with our differences. We must investigate what caused the formation of the sect and what characteristics of the sect are incompatible with Islam. We must seek knowledge of our religion in order to practice it as perfectly as we are capable. It is obvious that anyone who belongs to a sect and claims to be Muslim believes that their sect represents true Islam. I have two things to say to that. First of all, merely labeling oneself as one kind of Muslim or another is Haram as it is division in the most direct sense. Secondly, look up the date the Islam was revealed and then look up the date that your sect of the religion was born. After finding that they are not equal, dont even dare to claim that your sect is true Islam. That would be an insult to the Rasoolullah (SAWS).
As a final reminder, I will introduce another quote from the Holy Quran that again points to the fact that unity among Muslims is an indispensable, fundamental part of Islam:
The approximate meaning is:"Verily, you are one Ummah. I am your Lord, worship me"

10 comments:

Amie said...

Great post. Digging through all the "rubbish" that PEOPLE have labeled as Islam has been one of my greatest challenges as a convert. It really takes a lot of introspection and putting pride aside and sitting down to do a lot of research to convert in the first place. I find it sad I usually have to ask, "and whose opinion is that?" when someone quotes some sort of fatwa or ruling. I just want to learn - not to be lead astray.

And I hate hate HATE Muslims making their own judgments again others. Anyone who says Shahada and takes the course to be submissive to Allah (which is the very definition of "Muslim") is Muslim. We're all human - we all make mistakes. There is only ONE judge and only HE can call out who and who is not a true believer.
Peace : )

Jana's Journeys said...

Exactly!! And it's sad that a lot of new Muslims fall into what people tell them so easily without doing their own research.

Naushad said...

Bismillahir Rahmannir Raheem ~ In the Name of Allah Almighty, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.

Dear Sister Jana,

Assalamu’alaikum, Namastee, Shalom and Greetings.

I read your post 'Sects are HARAM in Islam' and am very impressed with it. It indicates your love towards the Muslim Ummah.

I am a single male Syed Muslim from Pune, India and am of Ind-Iranian descent. My great grandfather was a big Syed Sufi Saint.

Though I was born into a Shia Muslim family, I do not believe in any sects and try to follow pure Islam. Also, I do not indulge in any kind of direct or indirect shirk.

Over the years Allah the Most High has granted me major spiritual and mystical experiences which are directly connected to the the world savior that humanity eagerly awaits, with implications for world peace and therefore all of humanity.

Based on my personal understanding of the esoteric meanings of these experiences, I am pasting below an article for your perusal.

With love and blessings,

Brother Naushad Somji.

Naushad said...

----------------------------------

The scriptures of many religions speak of a coming leader who will consummate the fulfillment of the divine will on earth. He will manifest in his person the righteousness and compassion of God, and he will bring about the final defeat of evil, and establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. This person who will be specially chosen by God for this mission and empowered to accomplish it. Prophecies that a leader will come and accomplish such a mission are nearly universal.

Religions call him by various names: Jews long for the promised Messiah; for Christians the Messiah is Jesus of Nazareth, who has already come and ascended to heaven but will reappear (perhaps in a new guise) at his Second Coming. Muslims also expect the second advent of Jesus, who will come as a Muslim Imam, and among Shiite Muslims there are various expectations of a future Imam Mahdi. Buddhist sutras prophesy the coming of the Maitreya Buddha; Vaishnavite Hindu scriptures prophesy the future descent of an avatar named Kalki; Zoroastrian scriptures prophesy the coming of the Saoshyant; and some Confucian texts speak of a future True Man who will finally bring peace to the world by perfectly instituting the Way of Confucius.

In 1997 when I was 30, Hadrat Imam Ali (as) appeared to me in resurrected form at the Holy Shrine of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chisty (ra) at Ajmershareef. He looked into my eyes, smiled and went away. This opened my heart and my spiritual journey began. I started to isolate myself from people and my personality changed completely. Thereafter I experienced the divine knowledge of Allah gradually entering my heart and soul and I became very religious.

Since then I have been meeting many dead Islamic Saints who have also appeared to me in their resurrected forms. A few years after my experience at Ajmeershareef, Hadrat Syed Badruddin Shah Hussani (rh) appeared to me also in resurrected form. He prayed over a glass of water and made me drink it, thus making me his mureed or disciple. He came to India some 1000 years ago and was martyred. His head is buried at the Holy Shrine in the jungle near the town of Pen, in the state of Maharashtra. He nevertheless continued his fight for the cause of Allah despite the head being severed from his body. His body is buried in the town of Parandha in Maharashtra, an eight hour drive from Pen.

Two months later, Hazrat Syed Khwaja Muinuddin Chisty (ra) appeared to me in resurrected form. He gave me a fruit to eat and said that he was giving me the Khilafaat, the position as leader and spiritual master. I was told by him that I have a pure soul and that I will over the years work as a guru for all mankind and people will call me a Messiah then.

Of all my meetings with the Holy men of Islam, the most remarkable was with Prophet Mohammad (saw) who appeared to me along with Hadrat Imam Ali (as) and three more men whom I did not recognize. Prophet Mohammad (saw) led us all in afternoon prayers, and then we had lunch, all eating from the same big plate. After the lunch as the Prophet (saw) was leaving he shook hands with me with a big smile and I kissed his hands respectfully.

This could be connected to the awaited Mahdi.

"The promised Mahdi will be among my family. God will make the provisions for his emergence within a single night "…… (Islam. Ibn Majah, Sahih, Vol. 2, P. 519)

Naushad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Naushad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Naushad said...

Lated on I got baptized by a Christian Priest and during this the Priest saw a bright light descending on my person and then entering my soul as a small flame of light. Even I felt something powerful entering my heart that time. Thereafter major spiritual changes began to change place with me. There are at times I could do the kind of healing that Jesus Christ did during his time. Also, I have got the power to forgive sins and whenever I visit graveyards thousands of souls would approach me for prayers to have their sins forgiven. They would not leave me unless I prayed for them. When Pope John Paul 2 died, his soul came to me in the astral body and asked me to pray for him. He said master please help me. Few days later on when President Yasser Arafat died, his soul also approached me and he said that he did not want anything for himself but rather he asked me to help his fellow humans in Palestine who are in great trouble.

This could be connected the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

“What would be your situation if the Son of Mary (Jesus) descends upon you and your Imam (Mahdi) is from among you”? ………..(Islam. Bukhari, kitabul-Anbiya, Chapter Nuzul Isa bin Maryam)

Two years ago I suddenly got a pull to visit the Holy Shrine of Hadrat Shirdi Sai Baba (rh). Since then Baba has been guiding and protecting me and he calls me his son. During one such visit at the
Temple of Hadrat Shirdi Sai Baba (rh) I saw a white ball of light approaching me from the right side during night aarti. When the aarti ritual was over, this white ball of light moved away. Few months ago, Hadrat Shirdi Sai Baba (rh) has informed me that he has placed that white ball of light in my heart and because of this over the period of time I will become an Avtaar of God the Most High.

This could be connected to the Kalki Avtaar .

"Whenever the Law declines and the purpose of life is forgotten, I manifest myself on earth. I am born in every age to protect the good, to destroy evil, and to reestablish the Law" ..................... ( Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 4.7-8.)

So all these 3 powers ~ Mahdi, Messiah and Kalki Avtar combined make up the world savior.

My case is in some ways similar to that of Prophet Younas (as) as mentioned in the Holy Quran. He was called by Allah the Most High for a divine mission but initially chose to run away from it. Many times over the years I too have tried to avoid getting too deeply into spiritual and religious things and have tried my level best to lead a normal life. But every time I tried to do that, Allah the Most High would pull me back into it and this has happened several times during the past few years. Since I could not run away from Allah's call, I had no option but to submit humbly to it.

SR said...

How do you know that Imam Ali appeared to you? Maybe it good be the satan! Because you do not know how Ali looked liked, then you can not say that it was Ali.

Said

Naushad said...

In the name of God, who is infinite Compassion and Love

Assalaamu alaykum, Shalom and Greetings of Peace.

One night from midnight to early morning very strong smell of different kind of natural flower fragrances began to emerge from my house. It was so strong that it became difficult for us to sleep. Then at about 4 am that morning I began to get a strong pull to visit the Holy Shrine of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chisty (ra) at Ajmer in India. Since I was not keeping good health I did not want to undertake the long journey. But the pull kept on increasing to such an extent that I was unable to resist. So I consulted a spiritual person who is a family friend and he advised me to visit the Holy Shrine because it was a divine call.

Since I had never been there but once many years ago I wanted to get food prepared to serve the pilgrims there as mark of respect. I got @ 700 kgs food prepared at the Holy Shrine of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chisty (ra) at Ajmer in India. When all the pilgrims had food at @ 10 pm, I was very tired so took a small amount of rice in a plate and began to eat food on the steps in a masjid which is known as Imambarah at the Holy Shrine. I was informed that nobody uses this masjid to pray as it is used by saints and auliyas who are alive in spiritual world to worship.

I had no idea how Hadrat Imam Ali (as) looked like. Howver, I saw a person dressed up in full black clothes with his face half covered. This person went to where food was being served and took some food in a peice of cloth and came to me. He then asked me if I had finsihed eating and I thought that he was a mystic or fakir who wanted to use my plate to have his meal. So I handed him my plate and when I looked up to him, had eye to eye contact. He smiled and then took the plate and went away.

But his face remained in front of my eyes for several days. Thereafter gradually my heart opened to sprituality,I became very relegious, started to isolate myself from people and my personality changed completely. I experienced the divine knowledge gradually entering my heart leading me towards God realistaion.

Few days after when in my city I visited my uncel's office and there I saw of picture hung on the wall. This was the exact replica of the same person who I had given my plate at the Holy Shrine few days ago. The only difference was that the person I meet was clean shaved. My uncel informed me that the picture was of Imam Ali (as) that an Iranian friend had recently gifted him which he got from Iran.

Since then I have been meeting many dead Islamic Saints who have also appeared to me in their resurrected forms.

RasulAllah (saw) mentioned the following for Imam Ali (as) commander of the Faithful Amir al-Mu'minin as follows:

"For whoever I am a Mawla of, then Ali is his Mawla"

and

'I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate'

Regards,

Naushad.

QuranVsHadith said...

Please Join us on Facebook....ICRQS International Committee for the Restoration of Quran as Sunnah. Also on YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/quranvshadith

We are all REAL MUSLIMS from around the world, meaning QURAN ALONE do we follow. Please join us.

2:148 And to each is a direction that he will take, so you shall race towards good deeds. Wherever you may be, God will bring you
all together. God is capable of all things.